THE very earliest type of Ledger used in connection with Lending Libraries was a kind of receipt book, in which were entered particulars of the book borrowed, and this register was signed by the person who took away the book. We have not been able to find an actual specimen of this type of Ledger, but believe it was simply an ordinary blank volume, in which the entries succeeded each other without columns or other classified features. When Libraries were small and borrowers few in number there was no need for elaboration in the accounts of books issued and returned. As books multiplied and Libraries increased a gradual extension would occur all round, and the necessity would arise for some ready method of distinguishing books returned from those still on loan. Thus would the column method of ruling come into existence, with its many varieties and uses. One form was designed to show by the presence or absence of a signature, whether books were out or in.
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